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O&M Asia Pacific Co-CEO and O&M China CEO Chris Reitermann on how advertising and media agencies need to create, innovate, or die in 2018

Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific Co-CEO and Ogilvy & Mather China CEO Chris Reitermann is responsible for the daily operations of the agency and its next phase of growth across the region. Under his leadership, Ogilvy was named the most effective agency in Asia Pacific by the Effies Effectiveness Index, Campaign Asia’s Creative Network of the Year – in addition to being named
Asia Pacific Agency Head of the Year. 

He gave his insights on the changes happening to the industry, how his network is adapting to the changing times, and his fearless forecast for the industry. 

1. What are key transformational shifts you see affecting the advertising industry which will have the strongest impact this year?
Marketing has fundamentally become digital, and digital by its very nature is technology based. This is going to be the year that we’ll truly see a shift in how and where clients are spending budgets. We’ll see an increase in automation of traditional marketing tasks, and data’s growing role in decision-making in pursuit of improving performance.
The lines between platforms, media, and agencies will further blur. We’re likely going to see more fragmentation of how brands choose to operate and invest. Adland is about to wake up to the realization that we’re no longer in the ‘Advertising’ business – and the role of creativity will need to evolve to truly innovate and answer specific business challenges.
One of the biggest trends of the last decade is the specialization of the marketing workforce. The growth of digital has created a huge demand for experts with depth of knowledge in the smallest of niches. How marketing is discovered, consumed and monetized is ever increasing, and as a result we’ll see a demand for a new breed of talent on the rise: Specialist Generalists. These are integrators who can see the entire ecosystem as a whole, but also understand how to work amongst the minutiae of detail, across the entire consumer journey.
2. How are you and your network adapting to the changes in the business environment? What measures are you taking and how are you leading for your company and its people to tide and thrive?
The demands of the current environment mean that our clients are now looking for expertise across the ever-evolving spectrum of communications, with deeper integration, efficiencies, and a more agile way of working. In response to this, last year we launched a bold transformation plan for our global business; our ‘Next Chapter’ strategy. Its objective is to evolve the agency from independently branded business units into a single branded enterprise under ‘one Ogilvy’. Talent has been front and center of the process, to ensure that our people are unified, whilst also being best placed to have the right conversations at the right time with our clients.
3. The best thing that will happen to our industry this year
I’ll answer this one in the context of what COULD be the best thing to happen to our industry in 2018. For me, an immediate gap is that we have no universal way to measure effectiveness across all modern marketing channels. We need more transparency across platforms, but even more importantly, a universal measurement currency: a single reference point that can guide all communications, across all platforms, back to a single measurement system.


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